Super Bowl edition: Coach Vince Lombardi, civil rights pioneer

Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame coach

This Sunday, the winner of the Super Bowl will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1967.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Maraniss captured Vince Lombardi the human being in his masterful 1999 biography, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi.  For those who think of Lombardi purely as the gruff, demanding football coach that he was, you’re in for a few surprises.

Most notably, Lombardi was, in his own way, a civil rights and equal opportunity pioneer, buoyed by his Catholic faith and his own experiences of bigotry as an Italian American. This heartfelt commitment extended not only to African American players, but also to gay players, making Lombardi a man way ahead of his time.

For more of the story, check out my free podcast commentary (less than 4 minutes). Go to the New Workplace Institute podcast series page and click “Super Bowl edition: Vince Lombardi.”

Champion for inclusion

(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia)

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